NYSUT Communications |
Saturday May 04 2024 11:57 AM

James Chaney, School-Related Professionals Member of the Year

An educator for more than 20 years, James Chaney is a teaching assistant at Albany Public High School where he is fulfilling his calling to motivate and mentor students.

At just 1 year old, Chaney was in a car accident that permanently damaged his spinal cord. The accident confined him to a wheelchair but expanded his life’s purpose.

“I learned that there was a mental, emotional, and spiritual concept that I could share with other people and that I could change their lives,” Chaney said.

Chaney is a graduate of ITT Technical Institute and a lifelong learner. He strives for authentic connections with his students. Chaney is always looking for opportunities to meet his students where their interests are, and he bonds with them on topics like basketball, Harry Potter, metal detecting, weightlifting, reading and computers.

Chaney has been a member of the Albany Public School United Employees since 2011. He is also a motivational speaker, and travels to schools across the Capital Region to share his story.